Kurt Ritter, president and chief executive of the Rezidor Hotel Group, has announced he will step down at the end of the year, to be replaced by current vice president and COO Wolfgang M Neumann.
Rezidor is one of the world's fastest growing hotel chains, with brands such as Radisson Blu and Park Inn under its ownership.
Mr Ritter has led the group since 1989, making him one of the longest serving chief executives in the hospitality industry.
Under the 65-year-old's leadership, Rezidor's portfolio grew to more than 430 hotels with 95,000 rooms in operation and under development in 70 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
However, after 35 years in the hotel management business, Mr Ritter has taken the decision to retire at the end of this year.
In announcing his retirement, he commented: "I was fortunate to live my dream. I always wanted to become an hotelier and, looking back on more than 35 great years. I met inspiring people, negotiated exciting deals, and always enjoyed working in the service industry."
His successor Mr Neumann joined Rezidor in May 2011, prior to which the Austrian served as chief executive at Arabella Hospitality Group in Munich, Germany.
He also spent 20 years with Hilton Hotels & Resorts where he held various positions including president of the group's United Kingdom and Ireland operations and president of Europe and Africa.
"We are pleased to announce the planned transition of Wolfgang M Neumann as incoming president and CEO," said Trudy Rautio, chairman of Rezidor's board of directors.
"He is an internationally experienced hotelier who will build on Rezidor’s strengths as an industry leader."
Mr Neumann added: "We will continue to focus on meeting the needs of our guests, owners and shareholders while building with our team members on the unique culture of this dynamic company."
Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency providing hotel management solutions